At any age, a clean and clutter-free home can be a great way to boost health and well-being. This becomes more important than ever in later life, when maintaining good health may be more challenging.
Whether you have an elderly relative, or are enjoying later life yourself, there are simple ways to keep your home clean and your body healthy.
Perhaps you have a regular cleaner, or a friend or family member who can help. You may live in assisted living accommodation, or perhaps enjoy keeping on top of the cleaning yourself. There are, after all, more creative ways than ever to make the cleaning process fun!
Whatever your choice, or your personal living circumstances, remembering the key benefits of a clean home, such as the ones listed below, will help you stay motivated.
Studies have shown that a sense of routine can be especially important in later life. As it becomes more difficult to get out and about, routine in the home can be a great way to maintain structure.1) A Stable Routine
A cleaning routine does not have to be tiring or extensive. It can be as little as ten or fifteen minutes a day, or undertaken weekly as a Sunday activity perhaps.
Whether it is a visiting professional cleaner, a friend or family member who also pops round for a cup of tea, or time taken for yourself to spruce up your space, a sense of routine will help maintain physical and mental health.
2) Pride and Self-Esteem
For many people, their own space can be a great source of pride. This is true whether we live in our own home, with families, in a care home, or even a spare room.
Maintaining a clean space with minimal clutter and lots of personal touches can help older people to keep their sense of pride and identity.
Cleaning is great exercise.
Vigorous vacuuming, cleaning the carpets, and even whipping around with a duster are all contributing to mobility, coordination, and cardiovascular fitness.
It is widely accepted that we should aim to raise our heart rates with exercise for around twenty minutes per day. If this is sensible and achievable for you or your elderly loved one, housework can be a great way to hit this target!
4) Boosting the Immune System
Cleaning is not only therapeutic, it is also hygienic.
It helps to remove some of the common nasties that can be found in carpets, sheets, and on surfaces that harm our health. It can also be vital for ridding the home of dust and hairs that may exacerbate respiratory problems or asthma.
We can wipe down surfaces after we use them with an antibacterial spray. We can vacuum for a few minutes a day, or set a reminder for less frequent tasks like replacing the mattress or cleaning the carpets.
If mobility is an issue, perhaps a professional cleaner is worth considering — as well as small but helpful details like a hand sanitiser within easy reach that we can reapply to our hands throughout the day.
Small touches can have a big impact.
A clean and tidy home can also be a form of self-expression. It helps ensure that we are comfortable to invite guests round, or that we can relax alone in a well-maintained space.5) Self-Expression
Touches of personality are a great way to enliven the home and the cleaning process. Why not treat yourself to some fresh flowers after cleaning each week?
Or perhaps have cushions and throws in your favourite colours to add some life to the space?
A clean home can be a safe and easy way for the elderly to feel safe, tidy, and able to express themselves and their personalities.